Puerto Rico was ravaged by Hurricane Maria and its people had fled to safety in the US mainland. Most of them had left their pets behind, and these abandoned animals are struggling to survive after the Category 4 storm struck three months ago. The lack of resources is affecting their wellbeing.

Daily Mail UK reports that the available animal shelters were totally inadequate even before the disaster. The present situation is worse with the unmanageable numbers of pets that have now become strays. It has become a humanitarian crisis with many of the pets on the streets as the people try to rebuild their lives.

How to rescue these animals

An official of the Humane Society of Puerto Rico has explained that pet lovers want to hand over their pet cats, dogs and other animals and birds but, due to lack of space, many of them have to go back disappointed. The shelter has a limit on the number of animals they can accept. In one of the shelters, the limit is 80 and it already has 120 while the requirement is in the region of 250. Space restriction has forced the authorities to accommodate many of the pets in rooftop cages.

Incidentally, immediately after Hurricane Maria struck, some animal lover groups had taken action to shift a sizeable number of animals to no-kill animal shelters on the U.S. mainland. However, that option is no longer viable since they also are faced with a similar problem of space shortage.

Animal activist Sylvia Bedrosian says that people do abandon their pets but the present situation is a matter of concern.

Augment the capacity of the shelters

In order to augment the capacity of animal shelters in Puerto Rico, it is necessary to have funds and, officials and volunteers are aware of this aspect. They plan to raise at least $200,000 which will go towards rebuilding five existing shelters, and expect private donations will come in for this humanitarian cause.

There are associated problems that need to be handled like food for its animals. A shelter located on the south coast cares for more than 750 pets and its source of food for the inmates has dried up. It used to come from a nearby supermarket that would donate leftover food to help feed the dogs but it has downed its shutters – it was a casualty of Hurricane Maria.

Thousands of Puerto Ricans do not have a job, nor do they have any roof over their heads or electricity in their houses. Many of them have moved out to the mainland and have abandoned their pets. Even those who remain are unable to afford their pets because of various reasons, and it is ultimately the dumb animals that suffer.